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Experiences of the Great War

Memories of George Ramage

A fairly recent memory of George Ramage comes from Miss Greta Mair of Fraserburgh. She was the niece of Mrs Mary Ann Davidson with whom Ramage frequently boarded in Aberdeen after the First World War.

Miss Mair and her family moved into Aberdeen from the country in 1926, and she can clearly remember George Ramage's visits to her aunt's house. Her aunt lived first at 26 Kintore Place and then at 1B Mount Street.

'Dod' Ramage in Aberdeen

The following extracts are from a letter that Miss Mair wrote to the National Library of Scotland in September 2000, in which she records her memories of George ('Dod') Ramage.

'To my two brothers and I, Aberdeen was a strange place where trams ran down the middle of the street, hanging from wires, when we had been accustomed to meeting a farm cart or a traction engine on the way to school.

'To us Dod was a schoolmaster far above the likes of us — my father was a farm servant, who to better himself and give an education for his family became a traveller for an Agricultural Firm. Uncle Jack [Mrs Davidson's husband] had been a farmer in Buchan and when his first wife died, came to town to work for Sellar and Sons, who supplied agricultural machinery, binder twine and farm necessities.

'"Dod's" accent was strange to us, we, using the Doric, had to mind our manners and speak "proper" English in front of strangers. Harking back I can understand Dod's feeling towards children during his holidays so I guess a plump dumpling of a girl did not make much impression on the Edinburgh visitor.

'The first Christmas Turkey we ever had was a gift from one of our visitors, of which we had many — being near the Infirmary, our country neighbours would descend on us and Mother would be asked to visit the invalids. A 25 pound turkey was too much for us so Auntie and Uncle Jack and Mary Middleton, once a teacher on the Island of Foula [joined us] and as "Dod" had dropped in he was invited to share. But he declined!

'Relief for us children as we had drummed into us to be on our best behaviour and to speak properly.

'All passed off well until the plum pudding arrived made by Auntie Davidson, she soused it in Brandy, setting it alight in the kitchen and had just arrived at the "[best] Room" door when it went out. "Oh, Damn!" said Auntie Davidson. "Oh! I thought she would go down through't", laughed Uncle Jack.'

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